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Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Virus outbreak in Iran

with 8 comments

At least two confirmed dead from the virus and 5 additional infections confirmed by the government of Iran, but rumors on the internet are that the situation is a lot worse. The military is moving into Qom to quarantine a hospital, and impose a curfew on the entire city. Developing story. Not yet reported on fakestream media. Note that, unlike China, Iranians are not banned from using Twitter.

The two dead are Iranians from Qom who did not travel outside the country, which means the local transmission would have happened three to four weeks ago based on what we know about the timing of the virus. This also disproves the conspiracy theory that only east Asians can die from the virus.

Qom is a holy city to Shi’ites, home of the Jamkaran Mosque and the Fatima Masumeh Shrine. Twenty million religious tourists visit the city each year. It’s only 90 miles from Tehran, which is the capital of Iran and the country’s largest metropolitan area.

UPDATE: According to this tweet (from a checkmarked Iranian news source), five are confirmed dead from the virus:

If the virus has a fatality rate of 2%, that implies that there are another 250 non-fatal cases out there.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 19, 2020 at EST pm

Exclusive report from inside China

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Commenter Bruno writes:

A chinese friend of mine 29 yo has retired parents who are close to the regime elite in Urumqi, very far from Wuhan.

They are locked in their house since 2 weeks.

As this is the region with camp for Uighur, maybe there are special care because contagion is much more risky. I forgot to ask him if it was a special regime for this region.

He says they are very annoyed by the situation.

Because of China’s total censorship of all reporting about the virus, this is as close to real news reporting as you are going to get. And totally exclusive to the Lion of the Blogoshere!

Urumqi is almost as far away as you can get from Wuhan and still be in China (3300km according to Bruno). According to the official Chinese news, only 55 people have tested positive for the virus in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and there have been no deaths. So this type of draconian measure doesn’t make sense unless the Chinese are lying about the extent of the epidemic. A similar number of confirmed cases in Singapore hasn’t caused Singapore to go martial law, or even to move to a “red alert” which means they cancel school and public gatherings, even though the virus is more likely to spread in Singapore because of its much higher population density compared to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Meanwhile, a New York Times article tries to make the virus epidemic anti-Trump (like the Chinese Communist Party, the New York Times always takes advantage of a crisis to advance its narrative) and writes:

He demanded draconian measures like canceling flights, forcing quarantines and even denying the return of American medical workers who had contracted the disease in Africa.

If a travel ban from selected countries is “draconian,” then what do you call what China is doing, declaring martial law and not letting anyone at all leave their homes? Super-duper-duper draconian, perhaps?

In fact, I highly doubt that we have what it takes to do anything even half as draconian as what China is doing. We think it highly violates people’s rights to deport illegal aliens or to stop-and-frisk suspicious-looking teenagers. So let’s hope we don’t get into a situation where where what China is doing is the only way to stop a deadly epidemic. We’re still letting people fly into the country from China, because Winnie the Pooh says there’s nothing to worry about, outside of Hubei practically no one has the virus, so it’s totally safe.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 11, 2020 at EST pm

The Chinese master race

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The government of China doesn’t just see itself as the government of a nation with borders defined by international treaties, but rather as the government of the Chinese race wherever they might live. They envision, for the future, a global Chinese empire, where Chinese people have dominant positions in every country of the world.

It’s this viewpoint which explains why China is so outraged that they don’t control Taiwan. According to their way of thinking, as a racially Chinese majority country, Taiwan should naturally be under the control of the global Chinese government.

Unlike the Soviet Union, which prevented its citizens from leaving, China encourages it. They’re seeding the world with Chinese people, sort of like how white people colonized Africa. Today, white people feel very guilty about colonizing Africa, but the Chinese don’t feel any guilt about being Chinese. At least they don’t right now. Maybe the way things progress, in a hundred years Chinese will feel the same sort of guilt that white people feel?

China is already imposing its dominance over Western countries. For example, major international corporations are self-censoring themselves at the direction of China. Probably, the next step will be China’s insistence that they put Chinese people in senior management positions if they want to keep doing business with China.

The Chinese have a long-term plan, while there’s no long-term plan in the United States (or anywhere else in the West). No one in the U.S. government has any plans for what the United States’ role in the world will be in a hundred years, fifty years, or even twenty years. There’s just a belief in American exceptionalism, that America will naturally come out on top because of magic American dirt or something like that, so it’s not something that anyone has to plan for. The difference between conservatives and liberals is that conservatives celebrate American exceptionalism while liberals want to reign it in because of the harm it does to minorities, non-Americans, animals, the climate, and whatever else they can think of.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 2, 2020 at EST pm

Posted in International

Crazy low airfare prices to Asia

with 35 comments

If you want to fly to anywhere in Asia, and don’t mind flying on a Chinese airline with a stop-over in a Chinese airport, you’re looking at less than $600 round trip.

Peter from Long Island writes I in a comment:

Everybody’s going mucking fental about this virus when the ordinary, garden-variety flu knocks off at least 15,000 people in the US every year.

So you recommend taking advantage of the cheap airfares?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 28, 2020 at EST pm

Posted in International


GondawanaMan asked me to say something about anime.

My observation of anime is that it’s weirdly sexualized but no one has any actual sex. And the male characters are extreme betas around the opposite sex, even if they have superpowers.

In comparison, in a modern American TV show like Riverdale which is marketed to a teen audience, no one is beta and everyone is having sex with everyone.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 21, 2020 at EST pm

Posted in International

Japan’s suicide rate declining

Japan has historically been known for its high suicide rate, but after ten consecutive years of decline, it’s down to 15.0 per 100,000.

Meanwhile in the United States, the suicide rate has been increasing every year since 2001, and it was last reported to be 14.0 in 2017. So if these trends continue, at some point in this decade the United States will have a higher suicide rate than Japan.

If we look only at the suicide rate for non-Hispanic whites in the United States, it’s already higher than in Japan, at 17.8.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 17, 2020 at EST pm

Posted in International

NPR Poll: More Americans Disapprove Of Trump’s Handling Of Iran Than Approve

I’m not surprised by this. Even though, during the last three weeks, Trump handled Iran better than he has handled just about anything else during his time as President (aside from that one dumb tweet), you would only know that if you watch Fox News or intentionally seek out conservative or pro-Trump online news sources.

The rest of the fakestream media has been telling us how badly Trump screwed everything up in the Middle East.

And this demonstrates why I still think that Trump can’t win re-election.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 15, 2020 at EST pm

Posted in International

Involuntary martyrdom

According to ABC news, an English translation (not clear who translated it) of the official Iranian statement on the accidental downing of the Ukrainian jet has the following nugget in it:

… the plane was unintentionally hit due to human error, which unfortunately resulted in the martyrdom of dear compatriots and the death of a number of foreign nationals.

Let’s parse the meaning of this carefully.

“Compatriots,” which presumably means Islamicly observant Iranians, are designated as martyrs. This is a very important distinction, it means they get a whole bunch of rewards in the afterlife, not the least being 72 houris to have sex with.

But for foreign nationals, they only received “death.”

This validates that the theocratic government of Iran believes in the concept of involuntary martyrdom. This is an official government statement, and not the ramblings of “Islamophobic” right-wing people.

This is why a nuclear-armed Iran is something we should never let happen. Would Iran accept a nuclear exchange that also brought death to Israelis and Americans, because the dead Iranians would be involuntary martyrs?

SWPL Iran-apologists refuse to read or hear Iran’s plain words.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 13, 2020 at EST pm

Posted in International

日本語 update

A month ago I mentioned that I was studying Japanese.

What have I learned since then? Sadly, not very much. Simple present-tense sentences with the verb “to be,” like:


There are books in the library.

Or more literally: Library in book are(polite).*

And I can’t really say that I’d recognize 図書館 as “library” (としょかん) if I saw it out of context. Although it should be pointed out that Japanese is a language you can theoretically speak without knowing anything about their insanely stupid kanji-based writing system (with no spaces between words). I am pretty sure I know more kanji than a Japanese first-grader (thanks to WaniKani), but the Japanese first-grader can actually understand what their teacher is saying to them, while it would be 95% incomprehensible to me.

*(1) Japanese sentence structure is all backwards, with the verb at the end of the sentence.
(2) In most languages, verbs conjugate based on the subject, but in Japanese verbs conjugate based on the politeness level of the conversation.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 13, 2020 at EST pm

Posted in International

Another Monday morning Iran update

In retrospect, Trump and his administration made at least two mistakes after the takeout of Soleimani (which I totally support). (1) There was the dumb tweet where Trump used the word “culture.” Trump needs to have professionals edit his tweets. (2) They have tried, are trying, to oversell the reasons for the successful mission. For example, it was not necessary to claim that more attacks were “imminent,” it just encourages Trump hating media (truly the enemy of the people) to quibble about whether that’s really true, which it probably isn’t in the strict sense, but I personally do not doubt (nor should any rational person doubt) that Iranian-supported terrorist groups nurtured by Soleimani would continue to do terrorist stuff, and likely they will do less terrorist stuff because of this U.S. operation because they now have greater fear of retaliation and because the guy who replaces Soleimani won’t be as good at doing his job.

The article in the NY Times this weekend had a lot of good information, but there are two problems with the article:
(1) It’s information the Times shouldn’t have had, people are leaking stuff they shouldn’t be leaking.
(2) The article is unable to just stick to the facts, so it has a lot of snide and more direct anti-Trump remarks. The headline uses the phrase “brink of war,” which is total bullshit, we were never on the brink of any war. Bringing up the “Ukrainian civilian passenger jet” implies that it’s Trump’s fault that Iran shot down a civilian passenger jet that took off from its own airport that Iranian air-traffic control cleared for takeoff.

On the topic of pointing fingers about the passenger jet, it’s ironic that American media blames Trump, while no one in Iran is blaming Trump; not the Iranian government, and not the various segments of the Iranian people. Once again, U.S. media is truly the enemy of the people.

Regarding segments of the Iranian people, they can be divided into three categories:
(1) Crazy Shi’te true believers.
(2) Secular Iranians who don’t like the theocratic government, but they are still not good people, they would still go to war against Arabs, do bad stuff, etc. Remember that Saddam Hussein (Arab, not Persian) was secular but he was still a bad person, and a lot of Iraqis supported him. There are lots of these types in the Middle East.
(3) Good Iranians who would like to live in peace and pursue peaceful activities and have good relations with the West.

What does the government of Iran want? This is the wrong question to ask. Iran doesn’t have a government the way that we think of government in the secular west, Iran has a religion. Ali Khamenei doesn’t see himself as the Supreme Leader of Iran, he sees himself as the Supreme Leader of all Shia Muslims everywhere on the planet.

The problem, for those of us are aren’t crazy Shi’ite religious fanatics, is that Khamenei is not entirely deluded. Shi’ites outside of Iran DO see him as their leader. That explains how Iran is able to have so much influence as a leader of terrorist militias. Wherever there are Shi’ites, there are some among them who are willing to join Shi’ite terrorist militias and do Khamenei’s bidding, for the glory of their religion and for the chance of becoming a martyr, the highest honor in both Shia and Sunni interpretations of Islam.

What does Khamenei want? His mid-term goal is for there to be a Shi’ite caliphate that includes contiguous countries with Shi’ite populations: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Plus Israel, with all the Jews living their killed. “Allah is the Greatest, Death to America, Death to Israel, A curse upon the Jews, Victory to Islam.” The Shi’ite religious crazies don’t keep the last part a secret, or really keep any of this a secret, notwithstanding that SWPLs in the west are too dense to pay attention. But the leadership of Iran are also realist and non-crazy enough to back down from shows of strength. People in the Middle East, both religious and secular, respect power and strength.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 13, 2020 at EST am

Posted in International

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